5/30/2011

The Price of Beauty

Yes, here we are again lamenting my hair. Some days I think perhaps the best thing that could happen would be for me to go bald. Then I pull my hair back from my face really tightly to estimate what that might look like and realize that, in fact, things are not quite that bad. Yet.

So today, it being a holiday and thus Tim being home, I called to see if the salon I've been going to was actually going to be opened. They answered the phone, which I took as a good sign, then they proceeded to make me an appointment for 1pm. You may remember the perm? Well, as it continued to grow and wash out somewhat, I grew to find it acceptable. I did not ever truly love it, mind you, but I think that perhaps some of that was due to the underlying hairstyle not being overly great. So, we went from pulling the sides and top back into a barrette, to a low ponytail at the nape of my neck, to the great ponytail twist bun clipped to my head. Here may be where I differ from scores of women everywhere. I do not see the point in having long hair that is always clipped up. If your whole hairstyle relies on being in a bun and you never, ever take it out save to sleep or take a shower, then really, just get it cut. (Unless you're a librarian. I think there has to be a librarian clause in there. Also possibly an Amish clause.) As I probably have mentioned twelve or eleventy-hundred times, when I clip my hair up and back, I get headaches. Doesn't matter how loosely I clip it, I can guarantee you that by 2pm, my head will be screaming. So the clip it up hairstyle does not work for me.

Thus it was that I found myself heading back to the salon for a haircut. The lady was one I had not been to before and, at the risk of spoiling it all, I'll just say she did a great job and I love my new hair. Even (perhaps especially) the curly part of it. So the perm ends up being a win two months later.

But. (Isn't there always a but?) Stylists are always asking me if I want my eyebrows waxed. My mother is a low maintenance woman, so it really wasn't until I started selling Mary Kay that I paid a whole bunch of attention to "typical" beauty routines - particularly facial waxing. (Honestly, doesn't it even just sound strange?) Prior to that, my thoughts about my eyebrows included combing them after I got out of the shower so they all laid in the same general direction. And this is only due to my Aunt showing my cousin how to do this when I was staying with my grandparents one summer when I was eight or nine. (And really that whole memory is fraught with angst as it was, to me, just one more example of how really very few people on that side of the family could care to give the time of day about me or anyone else in my immediate family. Honestly, I was there too, standing right there, you'd think that she could've talked to both of us. But no. It was all just my cousin, whose sole purpose in life when I was visiting was to make sure that I got as little attention from anyone (who she could see every day because they lived next door but this was different because the interloper was there) as possible. I did say angst, didn't I?)

Anyway - my usual reaction to the question of weather I'd like my eyebrows waxed is a vigorous shake of my head to the negative, followed by increasingly emphatic refusals depending on how hard they push. For whatever reason, today I opened my mouth to say no thank you and instead uttered, "Sure, why not."

So I closed my eyes and she spread rather soothingly warm wax under my eyebrow and just as I was thinking, "This isn't terrible", pain like I have never experienced before in my life shot through my eye. I had to keep myself from reaching up to touch because I was positive she had just ripped off my eyelid. Except that I would probably have been able to see if my eyelid was missing and, as it was, I could not see because I could not manage to open my eye due to the involuntary clenching of my eyelid muscles and the sea of water that filled up behind my lid. After several seconds, as she started to spread wax above my eyebrow, I managed to crack my eyelid open to verify that I had not, in fact, gone blind. Water gushed from my eye and filled my outer ear. (At the time I merely hoped it was water. I suspected that it was, in fact, blood. It was not.) Then before you could inhale, the searing pain was back with the blindness and my brain was screaming at me "What the holy hell were you thinking?" Except I'm pretty sure it was in all caps and echoed in about sixteen different languages that I didn't realize I knew.

I wanted to tell her that she could stop. But I couldn't very well have just one beautiful eyebrow, so I gritted my teeth and waited for her to move to the other side. Now I was blind in both eyes (because neither eyelid would open) and my skin was aflame. I thought for sure she was finished, so was trying to surreptitiously inch the towel from my neck up to blot the tears before they streamed completely down my face, when she put wax between my eyebrows. Mind you, I do not have a unibrow. I would not have said there was anything between my brows to rip out with the wax, but holy moly, she found something.

Then she holds a mirror up and says, "See how much better?"

So I pry my eyelids open and, after the water gushes down my face, look in the mirror. The first thing I see is what looks like 3rd degree burns circling my eyebrows.

"It's still a little red," she adds. You think?

But my eyebrows do look neater. When you manage to tear your gaze from the red raccoon effect around them, and if you manage to avoid noticing how bloodshot my eyes are (which they were not before this little adventure.)

So off we go to get my haircut. Which I already pointed out was delightful. Though an hour later, as I left the salon, my redness had faded from 3rd degree burns to 2nd degree burns and I still had a trip to the grocery store to make.

At least now I have tips for the future, should I ever actually plan to get my brows waxed:

  1. Nancy Reagan really did have it right...just say no, folks. Just say no.
  2. Failing #1, make sure you have makeup in your purse so that you can cover up the red and avoid the strange looks at the grocery store.
  3. Ask if, perchance, you can get an epidural.

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